Bridge Road Brewers has come up with an ingenious use for its excess COVID-19 beer from the on-premise shutdown: it’s turning it into whisky.
The brewery was pondering what to do with 700 kegs of beer to prevent it going to waste when it decided to collaborate with Corowa Distilling Co on the project.
“We’re all about making the very best of this bad situation,” the brewer said.
“When our keg sales ground to a halt, we put our heads together to work on a plan for the mountain of kegs filled with seemingly unusable beer that had come back to our brewery, stacked up, staring us in the face every day.”⠀
Both whisky and beer are brewed from barley and some distillers such as Westward in the US solely use beer as their wash.
“We have to be very careful with what beers we’re mixing with other beers, because then you get a different flavour profile,” Corowa Distilling Co.’s managing director, Dean Druce, told ABC News.
“You can really mess things up pretty quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
“It’s a very hard job, but we have to taste test it a lot and match and make sure that everything going in there is exactly right.”
Fortunately, it appears they got it exactly right.
“It [the whisky] tastes exactly like the pale ale beer you get in the bottle at the bottle shop,” Druce said.
“It’s about 65% [alcohol] at the moment and it’s essentially like drinking a beer, so it’s that really fruity, fragrant flavour you’ve come to know from Bridge Road’s Pale Ale.
It will take at least two years before the product is ready for the market, turning a COVID-19 beer dilemma for the brewer into an opportunity to diversify its business.
Pictured above: Dean Druce from Corowa Distillery Co and James Dittko from Bridge Road Brewers.